How often do we talk, as a profession, about reinventing the wheel? The change of curriculum has probably led to more wheel-inventing across the country than ever before, as teachers up and down the land try to build up a bank of tools to match the new criteria, and replace those that were used in the past.
The thing about reinventing a wheel is that it seems quite straightforward – until you realise that somebody went and designed the tyre to go with it, and a whole new leap is made! And so it is with the new Rising Stars ‘I can’ Statements.
Plenty of teachers have been using the Rising Stars Progression Frameworks, and many of them have probably made efforts to find ways of sharing the criteria from them with children. These child-friendly statements can be a real help in supporting pupils’ self-assessment and that all important metacognition skill. But if everyone is inventing their own, then the hours spent must be massive, and the work likely incomplete; after all, it’s a mammoth task.
The ‘I can’ Statements have completed this task, for the core subjects in every year group, to provide a wide-ranging bank of pupil-friendly statements. But the real gem here – the tyre on the wheel, if you will – is in the accompanying mastery statements.
Now, not only do teachers have a child-friendly tool that allows children to understand more about their learning, but also a teacher-friendly tool that helps us to make meaningful assessment judgements about how our children are progressing. No amount of moderation and collaboration could address the specifics of every learning objective. The ‘I can’ Statements, though, offer a real clarity for teachers about what to look for when assessing pupils works.
The mastery statements that accompany each objective provide a clear question for teachers to use with pupils to help make those judgements about whether a pupil has really understood a concept or mastered a skill. Across classes and schools, they provide a common understanding of what we mean by each objective, and a tool for assessing the children we’re working with.
They could be used as part of guided work in lessons, set as a challenge for pupils, or even to support cross-school collaboration. It helps to address that tricky issue of what we really mean by using “the properties of rectangles to find out related facts”, or “summarising the main ideas from a text”. How often do we find a resource that develops teachers as much as pupils? And saves the rest of us from reinventing the wheel!
Rising Stars 'I can' Statements are available for Years 1 to 6 in English and mathematics. Order online today for just £99 + VAT for a one-off download.
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